Born February 9th, 1928 – Died May 10th, 2010.
Fantasy artist Frank Frazzetta (he later would drop one of the Zs) was
born February 9th, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, the only boy in a family
with 3 sisters. He is widely considered to be the most influential and
most emulated fantasy artist in history.
Frazetta began drawing at the age of three and sold his first work soon
after: He sold his first crayon drawing to Grandma for the tidy sum of
When he went to kindergarden his teachers were astonished that a
five-year-old child was drawing better then ten-year-olds. At the age of
8 Frazetta's parents were encouraged and convinced by his school
teachers to enroll him in the Brooklyn Academy of Fine Arts. He attended
the academy for eight years under the tutelage of Michael Falanga, an
award-winning Italian fine artist. When the two first met Falanga sat
the boy down with pencil and paper and asked him to copy a picture of a
group of ducks. 30 minutes later he returned to check on Frazetta's
progress, took one look at the drawing, grabbed it and leaped into the
air shouting: "Mama Mia, Mama Mia! We have a genius here!"
By 1944, at the age of 16, Frank Frazetta published his first comic story "The Snowman" in Tally-Ho Comics.
Frazetta's abilities flourished under Falanga and the teacher thought of
sending young Frazetta to Europe to further his studies, at his own
expense. Falanga died suddenly in 1944 and the school closed a year
At age 16 Frazetta started looking for work and drawing illustrations
for comic books: Westerns, fantasy, mysteries, histories and other
contemporary themes. He later turned down multiple job offers from Walt
Disney in the late 1940s.
In the early 1950s Frank Frazetta worked for EC Comics, National Comics
(which featured the character "Shining Knight"), fantasy book company
Avon and several other fantasy/comic book companies. Comic books
included John Wayne Comics, Buck Rogers, Famous Funnies and Ghost Rider
and a long list of others, a testament to Frank Frazetta's dedication,
his playful energy and his diverse interests. George Lucas later claimed
that Frazetta's artwork for Buck Rogers was the inspiration for the
Star Wars Saga.